Better Brain Health – We Are What We Eat

Chocolate reduces stress. Fish stimulates the brain. Is there any truth to such popular beliefs? The findings of researchers around the world say yes: It appears we really are what we eat.

A study in a British prison found that inmates who took vitamin supplements were less prone to violent behavior. And in Germany, a psychologist at the University of Lübeck has shown that social behavior is influenced by the ingredients consumed at breakfast. But what really happens in the brain when we opt for honey instead of jam, and fish rather than sausage? Scientists around the world are trying to find out. Neuro-nutrition is the name of an interdisciplinary research field that investigates the impact of nutrition on brain health. Experiments on rats and flies offer new insight into the effects of our eating habits. When laboratory rats are fed a diet of junk food, the result is not just obesity. The menu also has a direct influence on their memory performance. The role of the intestinal flora has been known for some time, but scientists are currently discovering other relationships. So-called “brain food” for example: The Mediterranean diet that’s based on vegetables and fish is said to provide the best nutrition for small grey cells. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, for example, protect the nerve cells and are indispensable for the development of the brain – because the brain is also what it eats!

Deutsche Welle, 2020

Nutritional Minerals and the Periodic Table

What are nutritional minerals, and where do they come from? This video looks at the origin of nutritional minerals in a scientific sense. Starting with the periodic table, we go through the understanding of earth elements as atoms and structure of an atom as it applies to nutritional minerals. We finish up with the concept of different atoms coming together to form compounds.

A Brief History of Fat, and Why We Hate It

Fat is a complex organ, as essential to human life as the heart or liver. Why do we hate it?

There is perhaps no part of the human body more maligned than fat. It’s considered ugly, unnecessary, and unhealthy. But fat is a complex organ, as essential to human life as a heart or liver. This short documentary challenges us to rethink fat by explaining why we have it, how it works, and how it may make us sick. It turns out cutting-edge science is uncovering the wonders of fat, and it’s time the rest of us gave it a second look.

Zinc Saves Kids

450,000 children are at risk of dying every year due to the impact of zinc deficiency on diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria. A few extra milligrams of zinc every day can make a huge difference. Zinc-containing supplements are a quick and easy, effective and inexpensive remedy.

Video from IZA – International Zinc Association (2011). CONEM is an associate member of IZA.

 

Pneumonia Wonder Drug: Zinc Saves Lives

Respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, are the most common cause of death in children under the age of five. In a study looking at children given standard antibiotic therapy, new research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine shows how zinc supplements drastically improved children’s chances of surviving the infection. The increase in survival due to zinc (on top of antibiotics) was even greater for HIV infected children.

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 350 children, aged from six months to five years old, were treated with standard antibiotic therapy at Mulago Hospital. Half the children were given zinc and the other half a placebo.

The researchers from Makerere University found that while there was no difference between zinc and placebo in the time it took to recover from the infection (measured by time it took to return to a normal temperature, reparatory rate, and oxygen saturation) the risk of death between the groups was very different. 4% of the children taking zinc died compared to 12% of the children without zinc. This means that an extra eight out of 100 children could have been saved by taking zinc. Among the HIV infected children, this rose to 26 out of every 100.

Prof James Tumwine explained, “Zinc is known to bolster the immune system and zinc deficiency is rife all over the developed and developing, world. In Uganda, where this study was performed, zinc deficiency in some areas can be as high as 70%. We would only need to give 13 of these children with pneumonia zinc on top of their antibiotics to save one life. This equates to about 4 USD – a small price to pay.”

 

Reference

Srinivasan MG, Ndeezi G, Mboijana CK, Kiguli S, Bimenya GS, Nankabirwa V, Tumwine JK. Zinc adjunct therapy reduces case fatality in severe childhood pneumonia: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. BMC Med 2012; 10: 14.

 

The Heresy Of Linus Pauling: Vitamin C

The heresy of Linus Pauling (1901 — 1994) was that he claimed a range of diseases could be cured by taking large amounts of vitamin C. He was condemned until a few years ago when other scientists began to have second thoughts.

Heretic: Linus Pauling

The last to be made about double Nobel Laureate Dr Linus Pauling, this film was shot about a year before he died in 1994. It chronicles how the world of science, having accoladed him for his breakthrough discoveries about the fundamental chemistry of molecules, later derided him for his experiments on – and championing of – the health benefits of high doses of Vitamin C.

BBC Heretic Series. Ep. 2: Linus Pauling, Vitamin C. 1994.

 

Nutritional Epigenetics

This little video beautifully explains the concept of nutritional epigenetics. Working with international researchers, we published in 2013 a review on this topic:

Jalili M, Pati S, Rath B, Bjørklund G, Singh RB. Effect of Diet and Nutrients on Molecular Mechanism of Gene Expression Mediated by Nuclear Receptor and Epigenetic Modulation. Open Nutra J 2013;6:27-34.

More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing the Most Common Diseases (Lecture)

Michael Greger, MD presents in this lecture the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions. Dr. Greger  is a CONEM member.

NutritionFacts org

 

The Fundamentals of Magnesium (Lecture)

Image 17This is a presentation by the American physician and naturopathic doctor Carolyn Dean. She is Medical Director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association, and has been at the forefront of health issues for more than 30 years. Dr. Dean is author and coauthor of numerous books, including The Magnesium Miracle. She is a CONEM member.

A great deal of attention has been focused on calcium but not nearly as much on magnesium, yet these minerals work together and need to be balanced for good health. Magnesium, which many call the “miracle mineral” is involved in over 325 known biochemical reactions in the body and is vital for health restoration, maintenance and enhancement. It impacts heart health, bone health, energy production and storage, women’s health, men’s health, athletic performance and stress management.

The Scientific Basis of IVC for Cancer (Lecture)

Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. reviews in this lecture various cancer therapies and the scientific basis for IV-C treatment. Intravenous ascorbate (IVC) is used as a chemotherapeutic and biologic response modifier. Dr. Gonzalez is Professor at the Nutrition Program, School of Public Health in the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico. He is a CONEM member. This lecture was held at the 1st Annual 2009 Riordan IVC and Cancer Symposium.

The Cholesterol Campaign and Its Misleading Dietary Advices (Lecture)

Uffe RavnskovUffe Ravnskov, M.D., Ph.D., is a Danish independent researcher, specialist in internal medicine and nephrology, and a former private medical practitioner in Sweden. He is the creator and spokesman of THINCS, The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, an organization that includes more than 100 researchers and other university graduates from all over the world. Ravnskov is also a CONEM member. On January 24, 2013, he gave this lecture about the cholesterol campaign and its misleading dietary advices at a nutritional conference in Oslo (Kostholdskonferansen).

A major, worldwide health problem today is obesity and type 2 diabetes. Since long the general view has been that the cause is lack of exercise and intake of too much saturated fat (SF). However, the epidemics of obesity and diabetes began in the early eighties, shortly after the introduction of the “Dietary guidelines for Americans” according to which a reduction of SF and an increase of carbohydrates in the diet was seen as the road to eternal health. Since then SF intake has declined and carbohydrate intake has increased in most countries.

Recently several health authorities have realised that the vilification of SF was a mistake and many trials have shown that doing the opposite may solve the problem. Instead we are now advised to exchange SF with polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) without specification. If followed, this advice will result in a further increased intake of Ω-6 rich plant oils and margarines, because these are the dominating PUFA-containing foodstuffs on the market.

It is obviously of benefit for the plant oil and the margarine manufacturers, but not for human health because a high ratio Ω-6/Ω-3 PUFA in the diet is associated with many serious health problems.

Accompanying Powerpoint Slides